Mount Nokogiri or Nokogiriyama (鋸山)

Today we are going to talk a little more in depth about Mount Nokogiri (鋸山), a beautiful excursion from Tokyo. I think it’s the one I liked the most (so far). His thing is to get up early and go early since the road is long and slow to get there.

Nokogiriyama (鋸山) is a 330-meter mountain on the western coast of the Bōsō Peninsula in southern Chiba Prefecture. Its name means mountain range. It faces the Uraga Channel, the waterway that connects Tokyo Bay and Sagami Gulf. The distinctive features of Mount Nokogiri are its sawtooth-shaped ridges (hence its name). These were created by the extraction of building stone during the Edo period.

Stretching along the slopes of the mountain is Nihonji Temple (日本寺), a Sōtō Zen Buddhist temple (曹洞宗). It was built in the year 725, which makes it one of the oldest temples in the Kantō region.

The temple complex is extensive and consists of multiple areas. A network of walking trails connects the areas that will take us a whole morning to explore and enjoy.

Here we leave you a map taken from the official website of the Nihonji Temple (in Japanese):

Nihonji Temple (日本寺)

It was inaugurated on June 8, 725 by Emperor Shōmu Tennō and the priest Bosatsu Gyōki (行基). He first belonged to the Hosso sect, then to the Tendai sect, and then to the Shingon sect. It became the Sōtō Zen sect during the reign of the third shōgun Tokugawa Iemitsu when it became a center of Zen practice.

In the Kantō region, Nihon-ji is the only Nara Period temple built by imperial decree (such temples were known as chokugansho (勅願所)). Some ancient documents say that the emperor donated 18 tons of gold to the temple. An imperial tablet written by the emperor himself and a scroll depicting 33 Buddha images personally embroidered by Empress Kōmyō.

According to the historical stone monuments that still exist today, the temple consisted of seven shrines, twelve monastic buildings and one hundred lodges for priests.

The temple’s fame reached its peak in the Edo period (1603-1868), especially under the rule of the third shōgun, Tokugawa Iemitsu. It was in 1774 that Guden (愚伝), the head priest of Nihon-ji, expanded the temple and made Nokogiriyama into a sacred mountain. The Nihon-ji Daibutsu and the 1,500 arhats were added to the southern slope in the same period. The temple suffered considerably in the aftermath of the Meiji Restoration, when the haibutsu kishaku (廃仏毀釈), an anti-Buddhist movement, resulted in extensive destruction of temple property. Many of the arhats were beheaded, but later restored.

Sculpture of an Arhat

The main deity of the temple is Yakushi Ruriko Nyorai (Medicine Buddha). Originally revered solely by ruling sovereigns and judicial elites for his own personal benefits (to cure life-threatening diseases), Yakushi would later become the central deity in 8th-century rites to ensure the well-being of the entire kingdom. In the early 9th century, the deity was also called upon to appease vengeful spirits that cause calamities. The main feature is that he has a medicine bottle in his left hand.

Yakushi Ruriko Nyorai is said to heal war wounds, so numerous military commanders have visited this temple. After losing the Battle of Mount Ishibashi, Minamoto no Yoritomo prayed for luck at Nihonji Temple.

Immediately after the start of the Kamakura Shogunate, Minamoto no Yoritomo set about demolishing all Japanese temples that were in disrepair, and rebuilt the Yakushi Honden in the first year of Yowa (1181). Nihonji Temple, which was completely renovated by Yoritomo, would be devastated again due to the continuous fire of the second half of the Kamakura Shogunate, but Takashi Ashikaga will rebuild it again in the 14th century. It was also rebuilt again in the 16th century by the Satomi clan, the local warlords of Awa Province.

Visiting Mount Nokogiri

The most common and popular entrance is the one that is made through the cable car located in the city of Kanaya.

It is convenient to bring water since we will only find water in the vending machines that are next to the Big Buddha and next to the cable car exit.

The only public baths are also very close to the Big Buddha.

The entrance fee (2020) is ¥600 for adults and ¥400 for children.

Summit Area (山頂エリア)

We entered from the cable car station, where there are vending machines for drinks and a small restaurant.

From this point we have spectacular views of the area surrounding Kanaya and of Hota.

From here starts the path that leads to the door where we pay our entrance and they give us a map and an informative brochure.

We climbed about a million steps and arrived at the spectacular and gigantic 30-meter sculpture of Hyaku-Shaku Kannon (百尺観音). Although it looks like it has been here for centuries, it was carved between 1960 and 1966 to commemorate the victims of World War II and traffic accidents. He is revered as a deity to protect the safety of nautical, air, and land transportation.

Hyaku-Shaku Kannon (百尺観音)

After climbing about another million steps in the tremendously humid July heat, we arrived at the Jigoku Nozoki (地獄のぞき) viewing area, the “View of Hell”. The most famous and spectacular viewpoint in Nokogiriyama, it offers stunning views of the Bōsō Peninsula and the Uraga Channel. Across the bay, you can see the Miura Peninsula and, on clear days, Mount Fuji. It consists of a small ledge on the mountain from which there are truly spectacular views while you seem to be suspended in the air. You have to queue to gain access since, from the front, you can take some very cool photos at the viewpoint.

Jigoku Nozoki (地獄のぞき), the “View of Hell”

Rakan Area (羅漢エリア)

After taking the obligatory photos we began the descent. We do it along the main path, the path of the 1,500 arhats (千五百羅漢).

In Buddhism, an arhat is someone who has gained a deep understanding of the true nature of existence, who has reached nirvana and therefore will not reincarnate.

Arhat sculptures

Like Arhats in other parts of Asia, they resemble Li Guangxiu’s brilliant set of figures at the Bamboo Temple outside Kunming in China: each facial expression is different, from the beatific to the Tradition holds that if you start Counting your own age from a certain figure, you will arrive at the Arhat that most resembles your own character and your inner being. You may not like what you find.

Well, on the slope of the mountain there are stone images of 1,500 Tokai Arhats, made by the artist Jingorō Eirei Ōno and his 27 students during 19 years (between 1779 and 1798), carved in a special stone brought from the Izu peninsula. . These Tokai Arhats are found in small natural caves and on carved rocks. Unfortunately, many were destroyed during an Anti-Buddhist Movement in the Meiji period, between 1868 and 1873, reducing their number to 538. That is why sometimes only parts of the statues remain. Many of them have recently been restored.

The way down is truly incredible, with the sculptures in the spectacular wooded setting of the mountain, making you forget the tremendous summer heat.

Explanada del Gran Buda de Nokogiri (大仏広場)

Halfway up the mountain we find the jewel of the temple: the statue of the Great Buddha of Nokogiri or Nihon-ji Daibutsu (日本寺大仏).

It was originally carved out of the same rock it stood on in 1783 (third year of Tenmei) by Jingorō Eirei Ōno and his 27 students and measured 37 meters. At the end of the Edo Period (1603 – 1868), due to erosion by wind and rain, it collapsed. The sculpture that we see today dates from 1969 and measures 31 meters, 7 less than the original.

It rises from a semicircular base, in the shape of overlapping lotus buds, to a stone halo resembling a disk and with “little” Buddhas surrounding Yakushi Ruriko Nyorai.

The sculpture is spectacular and leaves you speechless. On the esplanade there is a kind of shaded picnic area where you can rest in the shade and have a cool drink from one of the vending machines that are here.

Middle Zone (中腹エリア)

After a well-deserved rest, we begin the descent again, passing through several temple buildings, such as the Yakushi Honden (薬師本殿医王殿), destroyed by the great fire of 1944 and rebuilt in 1997.

Yakushi Honden (薬師本殿(醫王殿)

Omotesando Area (表参道エリア)

Already in the lower part, we can find the Shinji-ike pond (心字池) and some more buildings such as the Kannondou (観音堂).

Kannondou (観音堂)

Here the route of Mount Nokogiri ends, about two hours approximately. An excursion that will not leave you indifferent.

To return to Tokyo, the most practical thing is to take the train from the JR Hota station, which is about a 20-minute walk between crops from the entrance to the complex of the mount, to the JR Hama-Kanaya station and there return to take the boat towards Kurihama.

How to get to Mount Nokogiri

To get to Mount Nokogiri from central Tokyo, it is best to go to Shinagawa Station (品川駅).

From Shinagawa, if you have JRPass, it is best to take the JR Yokosuka Line via Kurihama, to JR Kurihama Station which takes 1 hour and 20 minutes. Without JRPass, the price is ¥940.

If you don’t have a JRPass, it’s best to take the private Keikyu Main Line, which a little further on, at Horinouchi station, becomes the Keikyu Kurihama line (you don’t have to get out of the car), also from Shinagawa to the station Keikyu-Kurihama. The journey takes 1 hour and 9 minutes and costs ¥800.

If we go with JR, from Kurihama station we have to walk to Keikyu-Kurihama station, which is just opposite. At the main entrance, we got on the number 7 or number 8 bus to the Tokyo Wan Ferry stop, next to the ferry terminal. The journey takes about 12 minutes and costs ¥200 (€1.55).

The company in charge of the ferries is Tokyo Wan Ferry and its website is:

Ticket prices are (2022):

One WayRound trip
*Children up to 12 years

The ferry ride takes about 40 minutes and we arrive at Kanaya Port in Chiba.

Mount Nokogiri can be reached via the Nokogiri Cable Car, about a 13-minute walk from the port or 10 from JR Hama-Kanaya Station.

Ticket prices are (2022):

One WayRound Trip
*Children up to 12 years

Hours are from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. between November 16 and February 15 (winter) and from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. from February 16 to November 15.

It can also be reached by climbing the more than 2,600 steps from Nihon-ji Temple (a 20-minute walk from JR Hota).

For more information you can visit the official website


Tokyo (東京)

On this page you can find all the information about Tokyo, the capital of Japan, from its history to learning to move, going through what you can’t miss.

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Tokyo: Practical Guide


1. How to get to Tokyo


This will be the means of transportation in which almost all of us will arrive in Tokyo from our home countries.

Tokyo has two international airports, Tokyo International Airport (東京国際空港) known as Haneda Airport (羽田空港) and Narita Airport.

Haneda Airport

Haneda airport is located in the special region of Ōta, 15 kilometers south of Tokyo station, in the middle of Tokyo Bay.

As a curiosity, the 4th floor is decorated as if they were alleys from the Edo period. It is very, very cool and there is a very good and not too expensive sushi restaurant.

How to go from Haneda airport to Tokyo:

To go to Tokyo from Haneda, we can go by train with the private company Keikyu. This is the one that we have taken in the two routes that we have made. In approximately 15 minutes you get to Shinagawa station and the price is 300 yen (€2.40) and it does not enter the Japan Rail Pass.

You can purchase the JR Pass and receive it comfortably at home clicking here:

Japan Rail Pass

From Shinagawa we can take the Yamanote line to any of the other major stations in the city or the shinkansen to Kyoto.

Here we leave the link of the station map of the airport website.

We can also get there with the monorail. It is the fastest way and enters the JR Pass. But if you do not have the JR Pass activated, the price is 500 yen (€4). The monorail takes 19 minutes to reach Tokyo Station.

Here we leave you the official website of the monorail.

We can also go by bus. The company that covers the route is Limousine Bus. The frequency to Tokyo station is between 40 and 50 minutes and the journey takes about 40 minutes. The price is 950 yen (€7.60). The advantage is that they have night services, when the trains no longer work, although the prices are much more expensive, although it will always be cheaper than a taxi.

They also cover the route between Haneda airport and Narita airport, in case you have a flight with a layover in which you have to change airports. The price is 3,200 yen (€25.65). The bus is direct, unlike the train, in which we would have to make transfers.

Limousine Bus official website.

If you want to make the journey by taxi, like everyone else, it is the most expensive option. The journey has a flat rate depending on the destination and, if the trip is between 10:00 p.m. and 5:00 a.m., the price increases. For example, the price to the Chiyoda area, where Tokyo station is located, is 6,100 yen (€48.90) during the day, plus 1,100 yen (€8) if it is the night trip.

You can look at the updated prices on the airport’s official website.

If you want comfort and speed, you can always hire a transfer service that will be waiting for you at the airport and will take you directly to your hotel.

If you want to go from Haneda airport to any other city such as Osaka or Kyoto, the ideal is to go to Shinagawa station with the Keikyu train and there take the shinkansen or, go with the monorail to Hamamatsuchō station and there take the Yamanote or Keihin-Tōhoku Line to Shinagawa or Tokyo Station.

Narita Airport

Narita Jasiko International Airport (成田国際空港) is located in Narita, Chiba Prefecture, about 60 km from central Tokyo.

How to go from Narita airport to Tokyo:

The star transport is the Narita Express or N’Ex. It is an express train that enters the JR Pass and leaves you at various stations in Tokyo.

The normal frequency is one train every half hour and if you do not have a JR Pass, the price is 4,070 yen (€32.60) with the N’EX TOKYO Round Trip Ticket regardless of the destination station, which is a return ticket that is much cheaper. The price of a single trip, for example, to Shinjuku is 3,250 yen (€26). The journey lasts 1 hour and a half.

The downside is that the last train leaves at 9:45 p.m.

Narita Express official website.

The other effective mode of transportation is the Skyliner (スカイライナー), a limited express train service between Tokyo and Narita Airport. It is operated by Keisei Electric Railway, so it does not fall under the JR Pass. It has stops at Nippori and Keisei Ueno stations.

The price of the Skyliner is 2,520 yen (€19.50), which takes advantage of the Narita express as it is cheaper if you pay with money.

2. Transport in Tokyo


An efficient way to get around Tokyo if you have the JR Pass is to use any of the trains on the JR line.

The Yamanote Line, colored green, is a circular line that stops at most major tourist sites. This line is, surely, the most popular line in Tokyo and is used by an average of 3.5 million passengers PER DAY!!!, ABOUT 1,300 million people per year.

Of course you will use it, and a lot.


It is the most efficient way to get around Tokyo, following the JR Yamanote Line.

There are two metro companies, both private, so we cannot use them with the JR Pass. They are Tokyo Metro and Toei Subway and, although at first glance the map seems very complicated, it is very easy to use.

On the map you can see the station where you are and the price to pay next to the station where you get off. If you don’t see them clearly, don’t worry, buy the cheapest ticket and when you get off the train, enter the ticket in some machines that are in all the stations that are fare adjustment, where you pay the remaining amount to be able to leave.

Tokyo metro

For example, we want to travel from Shibuya to Asakusa which is 250 yen. Since we are not sure, we buy the cheapest ticket, which is 170 yen. When we get off in Asakusa, we won’t be able to get out through the turnstile, so we go to the machine that says fare adjustment, insert the bill and it will tell us to insert 80 yen. Now we can go through the lathe.

The tickets are not valid for both companies, that is, if we buy a Tokyo Metro ticket, we cannot transfer to a Toei Subway line, but there are combined tickets.

There are several types of tickets, but the ones we will use the most are the combined tickets for the two companies for 24, 48 and 72 hours. These are the prices updated to August 2020.

24 H800¥ (6.35€)400¥ (3.20€)
48 H1.200¥ (9.55€)600¥ (4.75€)
72 H1.500¥ (11.93€)750¥ (4.96€)

You will find more information on the official websites of both companies:


They are the alternative to the subway and JR trains, but they are much slower and the schedules are very reduced. The truth is that we have never been on a bus in Tokyo so I cannot share the experience.

The price of a single ticket (updated as of August 2020) is 210 yen (€1.67) for adults and 110 yen (€0.87) for children.

Toei Bus official website.

The bus is accessed through the back door and the ticket is paid when leaving through the front door. You have to enter the exact amount into the machine. If you don’t have enough change, next to the pay machine you have another one that gives change.


Traveling by taxi in Tokyo is expensive, it is very, very, very expensive. A journey through the center of Tokyo can cost you around €10, which would cost us €1.30 on the subway.

Of course, Japanese taxis are very clean and the driver will never cheat you. To get into the taxi, it is the driver who opens the door for you, if he does not open it for you, he does not want you to get in (it happened to us in Kyoto).


Tokyo. Short history

Tokyo, the capital of Japan, home to more than 37 million inhabitants in its metropolitan area, almost the same as the total population of Spain.

Tokyo is founded in 1457 under the name of Edo (江戸), with the construction of Edo Castle, the work of Ōta Dōkan (太田道灌), a samurai vassal of the Uesugi clan.

Tokugawa Ieyasu (徳川 家康)

In the year 1590 the shōgun Tokugawa Ieyasu (徳川 家康) took the castle and in the year 1603 established his government here. With this fact, the Edo period (江戸時代) began, which would last until the year 1868.

At the end of this year, with the change of government at the beginning of the Meiji Era, the emperor moved to Edo Castle, turning it into the Imperial Palace and renaming the city with the name of Tokyo. In the year 1871 the fiefdoms were abolished and the prefectures were created, including Tokyo with its 23 special wards.

In the year 1872 the first railway line began to be built and in 1885 the Yamanote circular line (山手線) was inaugurated, which will be the most used on our trip through Tokyo.

In 1923 the great Kantō earthquake (関東大震災) occurs, leaving the city devastated and approximately 143,000 dead.

At the beginning of the year 1936, the Incident of February 26 (二・二六事件) occurs, an attempted coup carried out by about 1,400 young officers of the imperial army.

They assassinated several high officials, including some ministers, but were unable to assassinate then-Prime Minister Keisuke Okada (岡田 啓介) or take control of the imperial palace. Two days later they surrendered.

During World War II, Tokyo was heavily bombed and, after Japan’s surrender, the city was occupied by Allied forces. At present, the United States Army still maintains Yokota Air Base (横田空軍基地) and several barracks.

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